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It was a wild long weekend in the NHL. Trading has commenced as teams load up for the stretch run, and more games from here on out will be played with an intensity that closer resembles playoff hockey.
Let's profit off it.
At least the referees appeared willing to help our cause.
Dean Morton's crew were atrocious Saturday night. A pair of botched calls in regulation resulted in Dallas Stars goals, while two missed penalty decisions in overtime denied the Montreal Canadiens power plays - the Habs didn't have one the entire game - and helped the Stars complete the 4-3 comeback, cashing our bets in the process.
The abysmal officiating prompted a tirade from both Brendan Gallagher and head coach Claude Julien postgame, with the latter receiving a fine from the league. And although it speaks to a much larger problem in the NHL, it did work in our favor Saturday. Morton's crew are both our GOATs and scapegoats for the weekend.
Toronto Maple Leafs/Pittsburgh Penguins under 6.5 (-105)
Betting an under in a Maple Leafs game is a good way to shorten your life span, but this total just feels too high. Tristan Jarry has been on an absolute tear for the Penguins, especially on home ice. The netminder is 11-3-1 at PPG Paints Arena this season with a 1.86 GAA and .938 SV%. Expect another strong effort from the goaltender and a bounce-back performance from the Leafs' defense after Sunday's debacle in Buffalo.
Buffalo Sabres (-115)
The Sabres are one of the more frustrating teams to back, but they've shown impressive heart over the past couple weeks to not fall completely out of the playoff race. The concern is that they've lost three games in a row against the Ottawa Senators in Canada's capital, but at such a short price, I'm buying into Buffalo's resurgence. The Sens have lost seven straight home contests against Eastern Conference teams, while the Sabres have won three of their last four on the road and four of five overall.
Carolina Hurricanes (+100)
The Nashville Predators have won back-to-back games on home ice and are coming off a great weekend, during which they beat the St. Louis Blues twice. It seems everyone has suddenly forgotten that the Predators had previously lost five of six at Bridgestone Arena. They'd also scored two or fewer goals in seven of their last eight home contests.
It's hard to consider backing the Predators at this price based on a three-game resurgence. Instead, take the Hurricanes as short 'dogs. Carolina is playing some very good hockey, winning seven of its last 10, and is on an 8-2-1 run away to Western Conference teams.
The over is 10-1-1 in the last 12 meetings between the Blue Jackets and Philadelphia Flyers in Philly.
Alex Moretto is a sports betting writer for theScore. A journalism graduate from Guelph-Humber University, he has worked in sports media for over a decade. He will bet on anything from the Super Bowl to amateur soccer, is too impatient for futures, and will never trust a kicker. Find him on Twitter @alexjmoretto.